What art can do …

Good art activates both heart & mind. Its a dualisme not always well reflected in contemporary conceptual art. We often see art drowning in its own philosophical – or; as is more & more the case today – political slogans. I do definitively understand the need for political revolt; but for the artist the uttering…

Women’s History Month

Thank you Sherry Wiggins, for reminding me about the great work of Valie Export Body Configurations by Valie Export (1972-76) Arrangements of the body’s elements are postures, revelations, or expressions of inner states: At present I am mainly treating female postures from a feminist point of view and dealing with materials from the female environment, in…

Short Talk On Housing

I have entered a new year of bookish life together with an old friend of mine, Anne Carson, or her texts, to be more precise. Close reading, slowly finding my way through her Short Talks. Here is how today started: Short Talk On Housing Here is one thing you can do if you have no…

Sophistication?!

The mellifluous, impenetrable language of theory is often thought of as a sign of sophistication. But it can just as well serve as a way of covering over underlying inconsistency or lack of substance. It all depends on how it is being used … And I must admit, I’m not very happy with the way…

cloth · a commonplace

spreading the word – I just want to direct your attention for a minute or two to a wonderful ongoing project by Ann Hamilton: on cloth Cloth is the body’s first architecture; it protects, conceals and reveals; it carries a body’s weight, swaddles at birth, covers in sleep and in death. A patterned cloth symbolizes…

Beauty is the sharpest tool in the box

I wrote a short note on Richard Mosse some time ago. The Enclave, as presented at Foam in Amsterdam, is the most remarkable exhibition I have seen in a very long time. Richard Mosse is showing his work all over the world, and if he turns up in a place near you – you should not miss…

anything but reductive

I have never seen any of Truitt’s sculptures other than in photograps, she came to me through her writing. A mature woman’s literary reflections on motherhood and art, such a rare story to be told, was what initially got me interested. I find her work, seen from a very long distance, really beautiful, but believe the greatness…

Writing is easy:

From Virginia Woolf’s beautiful garden studio in Sussex I’m home after a week in London. I have already written a critique of Bill Viola in St Paul’s and of Marina Abramovic in Serpentine (non of the texts is hitherto published, so my judgement has to stay a secret). But the most difficult task for me, as a…

“My work is beautiful”

Artists hate the word beauty, especially German artists. If you wanted to be really hated in Germany, then you would say, “My work is beautiful.” German artists believe in ugliness and nastiness. I think beauty can be something extremely important in our lives. And it’s not true that this is naive. This is what is…

DAY BY DAY, GOOD DAY

Tag Um Tag Ist Guter Tag Apropos art & everyday life: Since 1974, the German artist Peter Dreher has painted nearly 5,000 versions of the same picture: a realistic, life-size image of a plain, cylindrical water glass centrally placed on a blank surface against a white wall. Peter Dreher “Nr. 44 (Day),” from 1982, in…